John Martin Reservoir State Park is located in Bent County in southeastern Colorado. The reservoir is just south of Hasty, Colorado and due east of Pueblo on Highway 50. The park sit on the high desert life zone of southeastern Colorado. Plant life includes prickly pear cactus that blooms prolifically in the spring, yucca and sagebrush.
The park provides fishing, camping, hiking and bird watching opportunities for visitors. Over 400 species of birds have been identified in Bent County and the John Martin Reservoir provides year-round habitats for many bird species. Bald Eagles winter in this state park parts of the reservoir close in the winter to provide a protective habitat for overwintering birds.
The John Martin Reservoir State Park has 109 campsites, 51 of which remain open in the winter. Potable water is available all year and the sites have 20, 30 and 50 amp service for campers. The minimum length of the campsites is 60 feet, which accommodates almost all kind of RV, camping vehicle and tent. Campers can use the coin-operated showers from May to October. The park has a playground for children and the fish-cleaning station is open during the spring and summer months. A dump station stays open all year. The park also has a laundry room and flush toilets.
Hikers can explore the Red Shin Hiking Trail, covering a distance of 4.5 miles. The trail has been named after a Cheyenne warrior named Red Shin who fought off a group of attacking Indians where the trail originates. Hikers can view the wildlife and observe the views from this trail. Raccoons, squirrels, prairie dogs, rabbits and coyotes inhabit the area and campers can enjoy listening to the coyote howls at night and in the early morning.
Anglers enjoy fishing in the John Martin Reservoir State Park from a boat or from shore. The park inspects all boats for invasive species. Bass, crappie, walleye and catfish are highly edible species of fish in the reservoir. Fishing season runs from late spring through late October. No hunting is allowed in the park, although a wildlife area lays adjacent to the park that allows hunting with the proper license.
No off-highway vehicles (OHV) are allowed in the park, but people can bring their bicycles. There are no designated trails in the park, but riders can use the roads within and around the park to ride. Jet skiers and water skiers can launch only the eastern end of the reservoir. Horseback riding is permitted in the park, although the horses cannot stay in the campground.
Campers can make reservations by calling 303-470-1144 in the Denver area or 800-678-2267. People can also visit the website at http://www.parks.state.co.us/Reservations/Pages/ReservationsHome.aspx and follow the links.